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  #51  
Old 07-02-2012, 10:53 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
Don't you see how the "God works in mysterious ways" answer allows you to evade any question?
Of course. That's the whole point.

"Faith means not wanting to know what is true."

-- Nietzsche
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  #52  
Old 07-02-2012, 10:57 AM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
Pancake Mix Robertson represents the opinions of too many religious people, but not all of them. I think you're going after low hanging fruit here.
Indeed.
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  #53  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:03 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
Indeed.
Ok, so you agree you're picking an easy argument. What do you think you're proving by doing that?
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  #54  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:14 AM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
Ok, so you agree you're picking an easy argument. What do you think you're proving by doing that?
Your argument about Pat Robertson is different than what's referenced in the OP. One who thinks only wicked people are killed by natural disasters is a different animal than one who thanks God for sparing him during a natural disaster as opposed to any other day. I believe the former is rarer and more unstable than the latter.
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  #55  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:17 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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I agree. Still, so what? It's not hard to understand why people are thankful they've been spared from disasters.
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  #56  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:22 AM
Dogzilla Dogzilla is offline
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I can't answer the OP's question, but this seems like a great place to share this story, which I think is funny.

So my dad is a hard-core, true-believing mormon. He wears the magical underpants and everything -- which is crucial to this story. Many mormons believe their special underpants protect them from harm. My dad is apparently one of them.

Many years ago, he bought a new tent. He loves camping, so he set it up in the backyard and proceeded to seal all the seams to make it watertight and decided to sleep out in the backyard for a test run before taking it camping. Somehow, he managed to talk my stepmonster into sleeping out there with him. During the night, a very strong thunderstorm blew up. Before it got too bad, however, my stepmonster bailed and went inside to sleep in her bed for the rest of the night. Clad in his magical skivvies, my dad stayed out there.

He told me that the storm blew a neighbor's tree right over and part of it landed in his yard... inches away from his tent. "What does that tell ya? HUH?" He asked me, with obvious great pride in his iron-clad faith and with obvious pride in his faith in his magical underoos. The implication was supposed to be, to me, that the mormon church is true because Dad's Magical Mormon Man-Panties® protected him from being smashed by the tree; therefore, I should repent and rejoin the church and be a happy little mormon again.

I waited a couple beats and then said, "Well, that tells me that you don't have enough sense to come inside out of the rain."

And he shut right up and stopped tempting the gods by sleeping outside in a tent during a thunderstorm. Silly rabbit.
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  #57  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:28 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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That's a more entertaining example of the problem with this kind of thinking.
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  #58  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:42 AM
PandaBear77 PandaBear77 is offline
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To answer the OP's question ...

I believe in God.

A tornado missed me and my family by about a quarter mile last spring.

I believe God is intimately involved in my life, so when good things happen (such as, not getting killed by a tornado, or narrowly missing getting hit head on in traffic, etc.), of course I'm going to be thankful to God. What's so hard to understand about gratitude?

Anyhow, OP, there's your answer. Given the tone of the thread, I won't be returning, but hope this helps
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  #59  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:43 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dogzilla View Post
He told me that the storm blew a neighbor's tree right over and part of it landed in his yard... inches away from his tent. "What does that tell ya? HUH?" He asked me...
Well...

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Originally Posted by panache45 View Post
God has bad aim.
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  #60  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:45 AM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Originally Posted by PandaBear77 View Post
I believe God is intimately involved in my life, so when good things happen (such as, not getting killed by a tornado, or narrowly missing getting hit head on in traffic, etc.), of course I'm going to be thankful to God. What's so hard to understand about gratitude?
What's so hard to understand about cause and effect, i.e., post hoc reasoning?
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  #61  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:49 AM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I agree. Still, so what? It's not hard to understand why people are thankful they've been spared from disasters.
It's not about those who are simply thankful they've been spared. It's about those who make the additional leap to suggest they were specifically protected by God (that's how it's usually framed by survivors) when, if God was in any way responsible for the disaster, they were merely not killed by him... same as any other day. If I shoot your entire family you're not going to thank me for not shooting you.

(Insert "God works in mysterious ways" here.)

It goes to the necessary suspension of reason when faced with praising a deity who willfully causes so much suffering as opposed to simply resigning oneself to its inevitability. I realize the simple answer is "they're just relieved they're not dead so they want to thank something or someone." I just wonder if some believe there's a specific theological premise involved.

Of course, the next easy question is: If they believe in a blissful, eternal paradise why are they so relieved to still be here? If I was convinced there was an afterlife as wonderfully amazing as it's portrayed, I'd be kind of pissed that I was spared. "I'm going to spare you that incredible ice cream sundae and instead give you this shit sandwich. You're welcome."

Last edited by Victor Charlie; 07-02-2012 at 11:50 AM..
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  #62  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:52 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
Don't you see how the "God works in mysterious ways" answer allows you to evade any question?

But, I wasn't questioning "an intellect greater than (mine.)" I'm asking you: Is everyone who dies in a disaster wicked (or at least non-righteous?) If Hitler had survived a deadly earthquake or, let's say, a bomb attack under his desk, would that have made him righteous?
God may wish Hitler to survive because it serves some larger plan. Not because he believes Hitler is worth keeping alive.

Or God might allow a small child to survive a tornado that kills her entire town because it might inspire her to do some great shit or something years later.


Or it could all just be "random". That some little girl grew up inspired to do great things because she just happened to be the one not killed by a tornado.
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  #63  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:57 AM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is online now
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Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
It's not about those who are simply thankful they've been spared. It's about those who make the additional leap to suggest they were specifically protected by God (that's how it's usually framed by survivors) when, if God was in any way responsible for the disaster, they were merely not killed by him... same as any other day.
Well, if you really believe that God is intimately involved in your life and that whatever happens to you is the result of His divine plan, presumably you'd also thank him if you were killed. Alas, it's hard for CNN to interview the people who didn't survive.
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  #64  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:58 AM
Accidental Martyr Accidental Martyr is offline
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Because they are thankful for being alive, and God is the only person they can think that could have remotely been responsible. In fact, I've often wondered what an atheist does with that thankfulness for being alive.
Why do I have to be thankful to anyone or anything that I'm alive? We survived the Tuscaloosa, AL tornado on April 27th last year. If the huge tree next to our house hadn't fell toward the street it could have went through the middle of the house. We were in the hall under a mattress with our dog and cats and it probably would have killed us. I'm glad we got lucky and the tree fell the other way but I have no one to thank for this bit of luck.
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  #65  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:04 PM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
God may wish Hitler to survive because it serves some larger plan. Not because he believes Hitler is worth keeping alive.
I get that and agree with the logic, inasmuch as logic can apply here. But some would are argue that God only spares the righteous, which will have included countless monsters throughout history.
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  #66  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:12 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
It's not about those who are simply thankful they've been spared. It's about those who make the additional leap to suggest they were specifically protected by God (that's how it's usually framed by survivors) when, if God was in any way responsible for the disaster, they were merely not killed by him... same as any other day.
You sure showed those tornado survivors! The basic issue here is that these people think God created them and can do whatever he wants with or to them. At least theoretically that includes killing them at any time. I think that's the really noteworthy thing- not the fact that they're glad they didn't get killed or that there must've been a reason they were spared, since they say there is a reason for everything.
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  #67  
Old 07-02-2012, 12:34 PM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
You sure showed those tornado survivors! The basic issue here is that these people think God created them and can do whatever he wants with or to them. At least theoretically that includes killing them at any time. I think that's the really noteworthy thing- not the fact that they're glad they didn't get killed or that there must've been a reason they were spared, since they say there is a reason for everything.
And just like that we have a discussion that goes beyond low-hanging fruit.
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  #68  
Old 07-02-2012, 02:05 PM
TreacherousCretin TreacherousCretin is offline
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Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Because they are thankful for being alive, and God is the only person they can think that could have remotely been responsible. In fact, I've often wondered what an atheist does with that thankfulness for being alive.
I've been agnostic since my late teens. Although I doubt that God is a "person", my core belief is "Nobody Knows."

My wife and I "miraculously" survived a terrible high speed auto accident (drunk driver T-boned us, both vehicles doing 70mph at the time). During the long moments of the event post-impact, I had a clear, calm realization of my impending death.
Instead, we both walked away from the wreckage with minor injuries.
That was 30 years ago. I've never lost the perspective of having cheated death and gotten a second life. A freebie. The feeling has always been one of gratitude, but no benefactor is required or implied by that feeling. Any contradiction in being "grateful to nobody" is one of semantics only.

Last edited by TreacherousCretin; 07-02-2012 at 02:06 PM..
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  #69  
Old 07-02-2012, 02:21 PM
fumster fumster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PandaBear77 View Post
To answer the OP's question ...

I believe in God.

A tornado missed me and my family by about a quarter mile last spring.

I believe God is intimately involved in my life, so when good things happen (such as, not getting killed by a tornado, or narrowly missing getting hit head on in traffic, etc.), of course I'm going to be thankful to God. What's so hard to understand about gratitude?
Let me guess: good things make you thank God, but bad things don't make you blame God, and anyways, bad things might just be good things in disguise but good things are just good.

The amazing thing about God is that he manages to act in a manner that is indistinguishable from randomness. In my mind that makes him all the more awesome.
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  #70  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:21 PM
smithsb smithsb is offline
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Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
...
Of course, the next easy question is: If they believe in a blissful, eternal paradise why are they so relieved to still be here? If I was convinced there was an afterlife as wonderfully amazing as it's portrayed, I'd be kind of pissed that I was spared. "I'm going to spare you that incredible ice cream sundae and instead give you this shit sandwich. You're welcome."
I'm on board with the above. Why would a true believer who's up to date on repenting and forgiveness not be angry on being passed over for, [loud echo chamber effect]eternal life[/loud echo chamber]?

I know, "it's God's plan", "It wasn't my time", blah blah.

Seems the believers want to hang on to this miserable life of religious persecution, evil doers, and devil-in-disguise false leaders.

They realize they're all just rotting in the ground until the second coming (and have been for 2000+ years for some of the early adopters) but that will just be an instant compared with eternal life.
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  #71  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:27 PM
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I thought "thank God" was just an expression. I mean, if I say, "Thank God it's Friday," that doesn't mean I think God intervened in the progress of the week.
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  #72  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:27 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
And just like that we have a discussion that goes beyond low-hanging fruit.
It all seems pretty obvious to me. Are you saying what I posted was news to you? I'm not sure these are technically strawman arguments, but this is not much of a debate.

Last edited by Marley23; 07-02-2012 at 04:28 PM..
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  #73  
Old 07-02-2012, 04:28 PM
Algher Algher is offline
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I realize that this has turned into a chance for the lofty anti-religous brigade to chime in with snark, but sometimes a comment is just a comment.

When my son called me to tell me he had been in a wreck, but was OK - I said "Thank God you are OK." Now, I was not telling him drop to his knees in thanks while on the shoulder of the 405. I was expressing happiness that he was not dead. Perhaps, for accuracy sake, I could have spouted off "Thank Ford for the side impact air bags, and thank Michelin for the tires, and thank Coca Cola for your reflexes, and thank California DOT for decent pavement - oh, and curse to hell the dipshit land-splitting motorcyclist who slammed into you."

That is a lot of words to come up with when you are just happy to be alive / happy someone else is still alive.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
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  #74  
Old 07-02-2012, 06:13 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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The version of "Thank God I'm alive" that the OP is talking about isn't just a comment. It's a declaration of belief which brings up a lot of questions, like, "Why would you praise your God for sparing you when he indiscriminately killed the family next door?" Sometimes a cigar is an exploding cigar.
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  #75  
Old 07-02-2012, 06:20 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
The version of "Thank God I'm alive" that the OP is talking about isn't just a comment.
In this case it seems to be a declaration of whatever stupid, illogical thing people want to ascribe to religious believers for the purpose of ridicule.
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  #76  
Old 07-02-2012, 06:37 PM
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I think it is because of selection by TV news producers.

Those who thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster take up too much of the time available for a sound bite.
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  #77  
Old 07-02-2012, 07:19 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
In this case it seems to be a declaration of whatever stupid, illogical thing people want to ascribe to religious believers for the purpose of ridicule.
I'm making a distinction between the generic statement and the one that obviously reflects belief, usually followed by a comment about praying or something. Ridicule or not, the questions raised by the latter are legitimate, don't you think?
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  #78  
Old 07-02-2012, 08:35 PM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
It all seems pretty obvious to me. Are you saying what I posted was news to you? I'm not sure these are technically strawman arguments, but this is not much of a debate.
Just because we haven't landed on a novel response doesn't mean it's not a debate worth having. Sure, we've had the standard replies of "they're just grateful to be alive", "God works in mysterious ways", "only the righteous are spared" and of course "it's all b.s. anyway" from the heathens, but I was wondering if there's a theological angle that goes beyond this. I'm always curious about how much actual thought the faithful put into their words and rituals, how much of it comes from reflective thought and how much is just rote sentiment. The notion of thanking God for not killing you is, I believe, right up that alley.

Last edited by Victor Charlie; 07-02-2012 at 08:36 PM..
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  #79  
Old 07-02-2012, 08:59 PM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
The version of "Thank God I'm alive" that the OP is talking about isn't just a comment. It's a declaration of belief which brings up a lot of questions, like, "Why would you praise your God for sparing you when he indiscriminately killed the family next door?" Sometimes a cigar is an exploding cigar.
You're exactly right. It's in reference to those who make the specific point of praising God for his protection. It wasn't intended as a form of ridicule, even if some have taken the opportunity to do just that.
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  #80  
Old 07-02-2012, 09:07 PM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Originally Posted by jasg View Post
I think it is because of selection by TV news producers.

Those who thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster take up too much of the time available for a sound bite.
It's funny you mention that because I work in television new and my question was prompted by the countless times I've come across these soundbites. It ranks right up there with "it sounded like a freight train!" It may seem like lazy producing (and it might be), but you'd be hard pressed to find soundbites from survivors who DON'T thank God, particularly in conservative areas.
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  #81  
Old 07-02-2012, 11:18 PM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Victor Charlie View Post
Just because we haven't landed on a novel response doesn't mean it's not a debate worth having.
It's not much of a debate. I'd like for it to become one, but mostly it seems to be focused on the fact that some of the things religious people say are stupid or don't make much sense. And I don't disagree with that, but it's also not much of an insight.
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  #82  
Old 07-03-2012, 06:48 AM
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Perhaps God wanted the ones he took, but rejected the ones Left?...a different way of looking at it?
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  #83  
Old 07-03-2012, 07:03 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Originally Posted by monavis View Post
Perhaps God wanted the ones he took, but rejected the ones Left?...a different way of looking at it?
That would imply he changes his mind all the time, since eventually, he takes them all.

Last edited by Fear Itself; 07-03-2012 at 07:03 AM..
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  #84  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:01 AM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
It's not much of a debate. I'd like for it to become one, but mostly it seems to be focused on the fact that some of the things religious people say are stupid or don't make much sense. And I don't disagree with that, but it's also not much of an insight.
I see what you're saying now, though I don't know why you're saying it, as if commenting on the logical inconsistencies of religious belief should be off the table because it's too easy. When a believer starts a thread, should we not respond to it? If there's going to be any insight to the debate, believers are welcome to provide it, but until then, it is what it is.

And my first post just corrected a misconception about the OP. That was hardly piling on as you implied.
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  #85  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:08 AM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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I get that and agree with the logic, inasmuch as logic can apply here. But some would are argue that God only spares the righteous, which will have included countless monsters throughout history.
He takes everyone eventually.


The father of that student who caught the flesh eating cooties was on the news this morning thanking God. Presumably for leaving his daughter a deformed, limbless freak.
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  #86  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:10 AM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Perhaps God wanted the ones he took, but rejected the ones Left?...a different way of looking at it?
Assuming you're referring to a kind, loving God, why does he have to take them so violently with all that pain and suffering?
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  #87  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:20 AM
Marley23 Marley23 is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
I see what you're saying now, though I don't know why you're saying it, as if commenting on the logical inconsistencies of religious belief should be off the table because it's too easy.
I didn't say anything about the subject being off limits or not responding in other discussions. That wouldn't make sense. I said I don't think this is much of a debate. It comes one obvious point (thanking God after a disaster God caused doesn't make much sense) with a little bit of incomprehension (it's easy to understand why people are thankful/greatful/relieved after surviving a disaster).

Quote:
And my first post just corrected a misconception about the OP. That was hardly piling on as you implied.
I didn't say you were piling on.
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  #88  
Old 07-03-2012, 10:48 AM
Accidental Martyr Accidental Martyr is offline
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I saw and heard countless interviews with people here after the tornado last year and it wasn't, "Whew, thank God we survived even though everything we owned was destroyed"
It was more of, "Oh, praise Jesus! Praise Jesus! Thank you Lord for sparing my life! Praise Jesus! Praise the Lord!" etc.
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  #89  
Old 07-03-2012, 01:53 PM
Esox Lucius Esox Lucius is offline
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Originally Posted by Marley23 View Post
I didn't say anything about the subject being off limits or not responding in other discussions. That wouldn't make sense. I said I don't think this is much of a debate. It comes one obvious point (thanking God after a disaster God caused doesn't make much sense) with a little bit of incomprehension (it's easy to understand why people are thankful/greatful/relieved after surviving a disaster).
I haven't seen any incomprehension here about people feeling thankful/grateful/relieved after surviving a disaster. Nobody's disputing that. The question is why God gets credit for it.

Quote:
I didn't say you were piling on.
Well, you brought up the point of ridicule when I simply pointed out a misunderstanding about the OP. If that wasn't meant for me, then I took it wrong, but it's odd that you mentioned it.
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  #90  
Old 07-03-2012, 02:10 PM
Victor Charlie Victor Charlie is offline
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Perhaps God wanted the ones he took, but rejected the ones Left?...a different way of looking at it?
Makes more sense than what we usually hear.
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  #91  
Old 07-04-2012, 07:03 AM
monavis monavis is offline
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
That would imply he changes his mind all the time, since eventually, he takes them all.
Except the one's who go to hell? There were and are tornados, hurricans, earthquakes,etc. where no people live and were many before humans live in those places, so it makes me wonder why that happened. I wounder could it be...Just because they were in a different spot? If a person wasn't home when a disaster happened was it on purpose or just because they were not home?

Last edited by monavis; 07-04-2012 at 07:07 AM..
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  #92  
Old 07-04-2012, 07:09 AM
monavis monavis is offline
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Originally Posted by Esox Lucius View Post
Assuming you're referring to a kind, loving God, why does he have to take them so violently with all that pain and suffering?
And it brings to mind the fact that many good people suffer so much in their lives, and so many evil do not!
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  #93  
Old 07-04-2012, 07:14 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Except the one's who go to hell?
That what i have been told. God kills them all, and sorts the sheep from the goats afterwards.
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  #94  
Old 07-05-2012, 06:35 AM
monavis monavis is offline
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That what i have been told. God kills them all, and sorts the sheep from the goats afterwards.
If God knows all things, then he knew before they were born they would be evil or good, and yet he allowed the evil one's to harm (or kill) what was also some of his children, so it is hard to accept the fact that either God doesn't know all things or just like to have some of his children suffer, a human father like that would not be considered good.
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